The TownhallSocial issues

Personal responsibility will define our “new normal”

By Matthew Delaney

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.

What happens when people abandon their responsibilities? You’re seeing it play out all around us. 

Take public school teachers in Chicago. The teacher’s union overwhelmingly voted to go on strike this week (73% of its membership). That means the kids returning from their winter break won’t have a safe place to report an instance of abuse or to grab a warm meal. They’re stranded because these teachers – or at least, their labor representatives – don’t feel a sense of duty to the occupation they’ve chosen. It’s one that we all knew was important before the pandemic and know it all too well now. 

Where did they get the idea that they don’t need to do their jobs? Why don’t you look at the local politicians who they get their marching orders from. 

During the 2020-21 school year, school boards spent more time debating name changes and implementing ideologically driven curriculums than they did on reopening their place of work. Superintendents waxed poetic about the need to demonstrate a more equitable school system while leaving poorer, often non-white families lacking the resources for childcare out to dry. They were too consumed by wanting to win the approval of social media and the news media to care about them. 

Speaking of the media, why didn’t they cover this important story? Because talking about school closures meant acknowledging their harmful effects and who was causing them.  

Namely, the media’s pals in the Democratic party. They ran cover for them on this topic, just like with the inflation caused by the Democrats unneeded stimulus bill and lengthy unemployment benefits. Or how the media downplayed widespread crime in major Democrat-run cities thanks to the party intimidating law enforcement and installing lax district attorneys. Or better yet, how the media treated every whacky new public health guidance as gospel, so Democrats had an air of legitimacy in following them (at least when the cameras were on). 

Why were those public health officials so finicky with their intentions anyway? Look no further than it being the rare chance to have their work glamorized. 

Guys like Dr. Anthony Fauci loved throwing out first pitches at Nationals Park. And being on the cover of InStyle magazine. And showing off his giant brain on live TV hits. What did public health officials do before this pandemic came around? I couldn’t tell you. But I do know they’ve used this opportunity to leave their labs (offices?) and show us how much we need them by making our lives dependent on their unscientific wisdom. 

So, what is causing people – particularly, these elites – to ditch responsibilities they knowingly take on? It’s that they don’t think they have to honor their commitments to get what they want. 

Journalists don’t need to care about the truth to earn your subscriptions. Doctors don’t need to care about science to earn your patronage. Teachers and school systems don’t need to care about your kids for you to hand them over for seven hours a day, five days a week (when the schools are open, that is).  

I can’t help but laugh that the largely left-wing characters who shape these attitudes cast themselves as “empathetic.” However, it’s also sad that they feel entitled to your trust. 

They believe you owe them your respect. If you decide they don’t deserve it, they’ll make you regret that choice. They’ll cancel you, or say you distrust The Science™, or even convey that you don’t have your children’s interests at heart. 

In my inaugural piece for ScoonTv about 9 months ago, I wrote that we have a pandemic of favoring emotions over reality. I argued that we’re so easily persuaded by the right rhetoric from our politicians that their actions don’t even matter; we just want a reason to cheer and feel good. I concluded that if we wanted to raise expectations for our leaders, we’d need to raise the expectations we have for ourselves first. 

Now we’re paying the price for not acting on that sooner. We’ve let a small cohort of our nation’s wealthiest and most influential people sweet talk us into believing they know what’s best for us. We’ve forfeited responsibility over to people who have no idea what fulfilling their own responsibilities look like. I’d say we’ve gotten what we deserve. 

This isn’t meant to be some final judgment on how the rest of our lives will go. The hostage situation that has become the Covid-19 pandemic won’t last forever. Frankly, it’s already starting to end. 

The omicron variant’s rapid spread among the vaccinated is easing much of blue America’s anxiety about getting the virus. It’s also relaxing their grip on the misery of isolation and constant masking that they thought would keep them safe. 

Our perception about what we’re living through is changing, and our elites are catching on to this. That’s why Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned that any teachers who don’t show up to work Thursday won’t be paid. 

But try as she might to win our trust back the old-fashioned way – you know, by doing her job – we’ve seen too much to fall for that trick anymore. The power brokers in our country will only behave themselves until we give them the benefit of the doubt like we have for the past two years. Then they’ll go back to abusing our confidence for personal gain. We saw this just this past November when they lost Virginia. 

Andrew Breitbart is known for saying that politics is downstream from culture. Another wise man (who’s so wise that I can’t remember who they are at this moment) said that culture is downstream from the individual. Each of us are realizing that we’ve been sweating out our own virus of apathy to who we allow to be the stewards of our informational, scientific, and political institutions. 

We’re “woke” to the fact that we need to have as much responsibility over our lives as possible. From the looks of it, we’re nowhere near being satisfied until that’s definitely the case. Finally, it seems that we’re going to end the pandemic that’s been hanging around longer than Covid. And it’s one we’ll have natural immunity to by the end of all this.

Subscribe to get early access to podcasts, events, and more!

Matthew Delaney


Matthew Delaney is a local journalist based in Washington, D.C. When he’s not questioning why he joined the media, he’s doing his part to restore some of its credibility with quality work

Tags: , ,
Previous Post
I got Covid-19. Here’s what I used to treat it
Next Post
How COVID turned Howard Stern into Howard the Coward

Related Articles

Tags: , ,